Moscow Mule

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The Moscow Mule is cocktail invented in 1941 as a way to improve Vodka sales in North America at a time when whiskey was king. The drink possesses a refreshing and sophisticated profile but is quite easy to make having only 3 ingredients; vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice.

INGREDIENTS

Vodka

By definition Vodka is a neutral spirit and therefore is intended to have no flavor or smell. Because of this, there are a variety of quality but inexpensive brands that work very well as mixers. We recommend Svedka which has received several awards, including a rating of 93 points from Wine Enthusiast in 1999 and 2004, and a Gold Medal in the International Wine and Spirit Competition. Despite it’s showings in spirit competitions, a handle of Svedka (1.75 liters) can be usually found for $16 to $19 and is widely distributed.

Ginger Beer

The most important factor in making your mule is your choice of ginger beer. Ginger beer is usually a non-alcoholic beverage similar to ginger ale but usually with a stronger and spicier ginger profile. There are a wide variety of ginger beers to choose from these days but many are overly sweet and lack the spice to make your Mule really kick. Some of the better ones out there are Fever Tree, Fentimans, and Gosling. We recommend Fever Tree as it is one of the spicier offerings, uses the highest quality natural ingredients, and is one of the lowest ginger beers in calories. They also offer a Naturally Light Ginger beer now with almost half the calories of their original formula with no artificial sweeteners.

Lime Juice

Some blind tastes have revealed that lime juice reaches it’s peak flavor 4 hours after being squeezed and refrigerated, but will keep in the fridge for some days. Alternatively, if you happen juice a bunch of limes at once, you can pour the extra juice into ice cube trays where it will keep indefinitely and you can thaw it in your fridge at a later date.

RECIPE

Mules are traditionally served in a cooper mug which adds a nice visual element and makes the drink feel frostier than it already is.

Vodka – 2oz 

Lime Juice – 1/2oz (or using 3/4oz will further bring out the ginger spice, if you desire)

Ginger Beer 6-7oz (1 small bottle of Fever Tree is 6.8oz and works well with these ratios)

Add vodka, lime juice, and a few ice cubes to the copper mug and stir. Add ginger beer (which should be previously refrigerated to keep from overly melting your ice), and more ice.  Stir gently to mix. Add more ice to fill cup and garnish with a lime wedge. Crystalized ginger works well as a garnish too, and it’s what we used in the photo above.

Cheers!

French 75

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FRENCH 75

The French 75 is a simple yet sophisticated cocktail consisting of gin, lemon juice, sugar, and champagne. The drink dates back to the first World War and it continued to evolve throughout the 1920’s, reaching it’s now classic form in Judge Jr.’s cocktail book Here’s How (1927.) The name is inspired by the French 75mm gun, a revolutionary piece of artillery employed during WWI.

INGREDIENTS

Gin

Gin is a neutral grain spirit (like vodka) but is infused during or after distilling with with juniper berries and other botanicals. While all gins will vary in flavor depending on the botanicals used, there are a few broad categories. The one concerning us being London Dry Gin, distinguished by being unsweetened. This is the style most commonly used in cocktails and is what is generally meant if the term “gin” is used alone. Tanqueray and Beefeater are both good examples of a classic London Dry Gin, are both reasonably priced, and both work well in this drink.

Champagne 

The Champagne called for in this drink is the dry variety labeled Brut. The choice is yours and while more inexpensive brands will work, the champagne is 1/3 of the volume of the drink and will have a fairly large impact on the flavor.

Lemon Juice

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice, not store bought. Also, when squeezed with a handheld citrus press, the juice will take on a more complex flavor due to the oil pressed from the peel.

Simple Syrup

1 part sugar, 1 part water. You can either combine them in a jar and shake vigorously until the sugar is dissolved, or combine in a pot and bring close to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

RECIPE

Gin – 1oz 

Lemon Juice – 1/2oz

Simple Syrup 1/2oz

Brut Champagne – 1oz 

Shake gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice, then strain into a coupe (chilled if possible.)

Top with 1oz (chilled) Brut champagne.

Garnish with a lemon twist.